Like many, our Associates Team have been busy adapting their programme and audition process during these unprecedented times.
Scottish Ballet's Associate Programme provides classically based training for boys and girls from Primary 5 to Secondary 5. Its aim is to develop confident, dedicated and motivated dancers by supplementing the training provided by local dance teachers.
Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the programme was presented with the challenge of continuing to provide this important resource to future dancers, so made a swift transition to a digital mode of delivery – offering 20 classes every week for 200+ Associates at all levels.
Below is an update on what else they have been up to outwith their usual programme.
Associates Programme Auditions
An exciting event in the Associate Programme calendar is audition week. A chance to welcome new dancers to the Programme, our annual auditions usually take place in May, however, they were initially postponed when lockdown was first imposed.
When it became clear that we would not be able to hold ‘in-person’ auditions, the decision was made to move the auditions online. Like many organisations, the Programme was able to make use of the technology at hand. This was done with careful consideration to ensure that the auditions would continue to be a positive experience for all students.
To achieve an experience as close to the live auditions as possible, class content was adjusted to ensure that it would fit in home environments and still allow applicants to be able to show their potential, whilst being easy to follow and understand.
All applicants were offered an online audition and the auditions were watched by a panel, taught by a member of the Associate Programme staff, and accompanied by a live pianist. This gave as close an experience as possible to our normal audition process.
Needless to say, the auditions were as inspiring as always. With over 400 new applicants to the programme across all levels, 17 audition classes were conducted over the course of the week.
All dancers who auditioned will hear shortly from the Associates Team on the outcome of their audition.
Associates Summer School
Following the success and excellent engagement by 19/20 Associates in their online classes last term, Scottish Ballet decided to offer our first-ever Associates Summer School which was conducted online.
We're delighted to have premiered this Summer School, allowing students from all over the country the chance to enjoy specially tailored classes, whilst parents were able engage with the content on a whole new level.
Over 100 Associates at all levels joined our classes last week and will return for a second week of online classes in August. Online sessions include ballet, contemporary, creative, conditioning and yoga/stretching. Our Summer School classes are being taught by our Associate Programme staff but we also have some additional sessions led by teachers from the BA Modern Ballet programme as well as SB Principal Constance Devernay.
We've found that tailoring classes to the online environment created a fresh dynamic with the Associates, both teachers and students alike took on the programme with enthusiasm and were able to enjoy classes that had never been taught in this way before.